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ASEAN Day highlights bloc’s unity

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Committee in Seoul hosts this year’s ASEAN Day Celebration at the Banyan Tree Club and Spa Monday.

On this day 44 years ago, the ASEAN declaration was signed in Bangkok, marking the establishment of a regional bloc comprised of 10 Southeast Asian nations.

“For more than 40 years of its development, ASEAN has been recognized for its contributions to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and internationally,” said ASEAN Committee in Seoul chairman and Thai Ambassador Chaiyong Satjipanon.

The ASEAN community, with its motto “one vision, one identity, one community,” is based on three pillars: Political-Security Community, Economic Community and Socio-cultural Community.

“The role of ASEAN Community shall be greatly strengthened in order to explore great opportunities and tackle challenges that lie ahead,” he said.

As of 2008, the latest numbers, ASEAN boasted a collective GDP of nearly $1.5 trillion, and a population of more than 600 million people.

ASEAN and Korea initiated dialogue relations in 1989. In 1991, the relationship was upgraded when Korea became a full Dialogue Partner with ASEAN.

The healthy multilateral relationship then flourished taking on a new dynamic when in 2009, the entry into force of Korea-ASEAN free trade agreement on service and investments took hold.

Last year, the relationship continued to grow when both sides adopted a joint declaration on the Korea-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity and its Action Plan, which covers the period of 2011-2015.

(yoav@heraldcorp.com)
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